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Europe Can Overcome Water Challenges Through Improved Protection of Nature

June 27, 2018 |

By Максим Яковлєв [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

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“Europe needs to overcome its water quality and water scarcity challenges through improved resource efficiency and nature protection. An EU-funded initiative has developed a framework that evaluates the impact of technical or management solutions for freshwater ecosystems on ecosystem services (ESS).

The DESSIN project developed a method for determining the value of new approaches to address  and  challenges. The DESSIN methodology for valuation of Ecosystem Services (ESS) can identify and quantify the benefits that human society freely gains from the natural environment, such as the provision of  for irrigation, and how this can be improved by new technologies or measures.

DESSIN has also tested specific technology solutions to tackle water scarcity and water quality challenges at five sites in Europe, and has applied the ESS valuation  to provide evidence of their benefits. This twofold approach shows how innovative solutions in the water cycle can increase the value of services provided by freshwater ecosystems, while helping decision makers take informed decisions regarding their impact on the water body and their economic implications.

Project partners including scientists, water management organisations and end-users, technology providers and relevant public authorities tested and validated different innovative approaches at five demonstration sites across Europe, with a special focus on urban areas. “The solutions for a more resource-efficient and competitive water sector involved decentralised water treatment units, real time control of large scale systems, sewer mining and storage of freshwater in aquifers,” says project coordinator Dr. David Schwesig…”

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